WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army senior linebacker Andrew Rodriguez and junior defensive end Zach Watts have been selected to the 2011 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District I team for their performance both on the field and the classroom. The duo will now move on to the Academic All-America ballot.
Rodriguez, chosen as one of the Black Knights' three captains by his teammates, is back on the field this season after missing all of 2010 with a back injury. He has started eight of the Black Knights' nine games, and ranks fourth on the team with 45 tackles. Rodriguez has accounted for a team-leading three takeaways, intercepting a pass and recovering a team-high two fumbles. He also is tied for the team lead with four pass breakups.
The honor is another in a line of academic accolades for Rodriguez. The Alexandria, Va., native was recently named one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's top football scholar-athlete.
The all-district selection is the second of Rodriguez's career. He also earned the distinction in 2009.
In the classroom, Rodriguez boasts a 4.14 grade-point average as a Mechanical Engineering major. He has been on the West Point dean's list five times.
Watts was named an Academic All-District I pick for the first time in his career. Watts, a Pittsburgh native, has posted a 3.46 grade-point average as a Mechanical Engineering major. On the field, he has started all nine games this season. Watts moved to defensive end after the first game of the season after beginning the 2011 campaign as a linebacker. Watts has racked up 20 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, the second-best total on the team. Watts is tied for the team lead with 3.0 quarterback sacks and has forced a fumble.
Army has had at least one player selected to the Academic All-District squad in each of the past four seasons, and has produced three Academic All-Americans in that span, including two last season.
With the selection of Rodriguez and Watts, 23 Army players have now gained district academic honors since 1989. In all, Black Knight players have garnered 31 district citations during that span. The Black Knights have featured at least one representative on the Academic All-America District 1 club in 19 of the last 23 years.
Army is preparing to face Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Yankee Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.